Football: Kendall suffers more rejection

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The Independent Online
SIX POINTS from two Premiership matches has not deterred Howard Kendall from trying to beef up Everton's lightweight strikeforce, but his attempt to re-sign Paul Wilkinson from Middlesbrough has met with the same negative response as previous offers for Duncan Ferguson, Mark Bright and Brian Deane.

Wilkinson might well have passed Maurice Johnston in Goodison Park's revolving doors. 'MoJo', now 30 and transfer-listed, is thinking over a move to Sunderland - where an old Rangers colleague, Terry Butcher, is manager - with the midfielder Gary Owers offered to Everton in exchange.

Kendall was prepared to pay around pounds 1m for Wilkinson, whom he originally bought from Grimsby for pounds 250,000 in 1985 and sold to Nottingham Forest two years later. The player was thought to be keen, but found the Middlesbrough manager, Lennie Lawrence, resolute. 'I've knocked it back and I hope that's the end of it,' he said.

'To some extent every player has his price, but I'm trying to build something here and have a serious go at getting back up. To do that, we've got to keep our best players.'

Steve Bull, Wolves' former England striker, learned yesterday that he may face a disrepute charge over an incident in a pre-season game. Mel Pejic, of Wrexham, suffered a broken cheekbone, chipped teeth and concussion after a clash with Bull, and has complained to the Football Association.

Meanwhile, Andy Mutch surprisingly beat his old partner into the Premiership, joining Swindon for pounds 250,000. Wolves invested the cash in Peter Shirtliff, the Sheffield Wednesday central defender, taking their outlay since last season to pounds 2.4m.

Sam Hammam, the Wimbledon owner, could also find himself in the disciplinary doghouse - despite apologising to West Ham for writing obscenities on a dressing-room wall. West Ham regard the matter as closed, but the FA is to pursue its investigations.

Terry Venables, Tottenham's sacked chief executive, wants another 21 days to produce the pounds 300,000 that will ensure his High Court battle with chairman Alan Sugar goes ahead. The deadline for producing the security for costs is today, and Venables was reported last week to have the money. Venables who is a 23 per cent shareholder is attempting to force Sugar to sell his 47.8 per cent holding.

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